Hey guys! Today marks 1-month since I began my cut and I am down 8-pounds, which means I am averaging about 2-pounds a week.

I want to go over a few changes that I have made since ending my bulk that are contributing to weekly success. First and foremost, an amazing non-stick pan. Maybe this is something that is a staple for some of you, but during my bulk almost every meal included butter or oil, which meant a cast iron skillet sufficed just fine. Now, butter and oils are kept to a minimum, and fats come mostly from wild salmon, avocado, nuts, seeds, and an occasional egg yolk.

A second change I have made is cardio. While many may think that it takes endless amounts of time spent on the elliptical or running on the treadmill, I have only implemented about 15-30 minutes a day. This is something that will differ for everyone. For instance, when I was coaching regularly in the gym and getting in loads of steps, I never had to make time for additional cardio, but now that I work primarily from home and spend a good portion of the day on the computer, it means a lot more sitting. I make it a priority to get in about 15 minutes of cardio for every 3 hours I spend at my desk. This means I usually hop on the elliptical or stairmill mid day for a quick session to ensure I get in some steps.

Third, I remain consistent. I try to get in bed at the same time each night and I usually wake around the same time each day. I typically get my workout in first thing in the mornings because I feel I perform at my best in the morning, and two, I feel that it sets me up for success throughout the rest of my day.

Last but not least, a decrease in overall calories. It doesn’t mean going to extremes, it simply means making adjustments and eating more nutrient dense foods. As I mentioned, I switched from cooking with butter and oils to a non-stick pan which is a significant decrease in itself, and second, an increase in fibrous vegetables. For example while bulking, dinner may have consisted of 200 grams of potatoes, whereas now, I will opt for 100 grams of potatoes and 100 grams of cauliflower, cutting the carbs by about 20 grams while also increasing several key nutrients. I have also cut back on my sugar intake. When I say sugar, I am not referring to candy bars and soda, I mean tropical fruits, coconut water, breads and pasta. These were absolutely acceptable when trying to put on some size, but for now they are kept to a minimum, except for an an occasional post leg-day snack for glycogen replenishment.

When coming off of a bulk it is fairly easy to lose weight for the first 4 to 6 weeks. I had been in a calorie surplus for about 7 months, so any calorie decrease at this point in time will yield fairly good progress.

Below are my two check-ins since my last blog post. I weigh-in and take progress photos every 10 days.

Some of my main protein staples over the last two weeks have been chicken, ground turkey, Morning Star veggie sausage, salmon, rice and beans (the 2 combined yield a complete protein source), yogurt, cottage cheese, and protein powder. Carb sources are corn tortillas, potatoes, rice, oatmeal, and a variety of legumes, vegetables and berries.

In order to make certain I am getting enough protein and key nutrients each day, I have 1-2 protein shakes and a green smoothie made from spinach, yogurt and mixed berries.

I usually make enough smoothies for the entire week at one time. While in the refrigerator they will separate and look a little “off” but as soon as you give them a shake, they’re good to go.

Thanks for continuing to follow along as I share my journey with you all. Hopefully these tips help you with your own journey. If you have been striving to lose weight, and your decreases aren’t as significant as you feel they should be, hang in there and remain consistent. Consistency is key! For someone that is just getting back into the gym after a break, remember that muscle weighs more than fat. If you are seeing a stall on the scale, then perhaps you are swapping out some fat for muscle, and that is a tremendous win!! Progress photos and measurements can often show results that the scale can’t measure. Keep going!

Hello friends! I have made it through week 1 of my cut, and as you will see, I am down just shy of 3-pounds. This leads me to share with you all what someone can usually expect during the first week of a cut, and where to begin.

There is no magic calculator that can determine the caloric range that an individual needs to start out with. There isn’t a range that works for everyone. If you’re flying solo and not hiring a nutrition coach, then I suggest taking the first week to find your base calories.

During the first initial week I focus on simply being conscious and aware, not only of my food choices, but listening to my body, eating when I’m genuinely hungry, and putting a time cap on my last meal of the day. I make certain to track all foods throughout the week using a tracking app, but I don’t have prescribed totals that I am trying to “hit” on a daily basis. At the end of week one, I will take an overall average of my calories, and then, I will determine my starting point regarding macros.

Myself, personally, I try to maintain a well balanced, nutritious diet all year round, so I don’t have to worry about making major changes to my food choices, but if you are a soda drinking, candy eating, sugar-fein, then now is the time to cut it out.

Coming off of a bulk and going into a cut is quite easy in the beginning. For the last 6-months, I ate when I was hungry, and then ate a little more to ensure I was in an obvious surplus. This week, I simply ate until I was full.

While I am more than thrilled to see a decrease on the scale this week, I am realistic and understand that a good portion of this total is water weight. Even the slightest carb decrease will result in less water retention (carbs are stored as glycogen, and each gram contains about 3 grams of water- hence why cutting carbs doesn’t always mean fat-loss).

As for training, at the moment, nothing will change. I typically get in 6-7 workouts each week, and take 2 full days of rest. This means that 1 to 2 days I will workout 2x a day. I lift heavy if my body allows me to, include lots of compound lifts, lots of intensity, and I try to make each workout really count. I take my dog for a 20-30 minute walk each day, and if I sit at the computer longer than 3 to 4 hours a day, I will jump on the elliptical or stair-climber for another 15-20 minutes to get some steps in.

I didn’t post my bikini photos last week because let’s face it, no-one likes to open themselves up for criticism, but ultimately, I decided if I am going to document this journey with you all, it’s only fair that I be as transparent as possible.

Like many females, I carry a lot of excess weight in my butt and upper legs, so when even the slightest of changes are made, these are the two places (on me) it is usually most obvious.

Day 7.
Day 1.

While weight training is extremely important in itself, nothing is more important than your diet when it comes to losing body-fat. You can workout every single day, but if you’re not eating right, you will never reach your goals. Below I have shared some of my favorite meals from the week. My primary carb sources consist of rice, oatmeal, corn tortillas, potatoes, lentils, and a variety of vegetables. My go-to proteins are ground turkey, ground beef (occasionally), salmon, chicken breasts, chicken sausage, eggs, yogurt, cottage cheese, and protein powder. My fats primarily come from avocado, seeds, nuts, olive oil, butter and wild fish.

I would love to answer some of your questions throughout this series, if you have any. If you’re not following me on IG, give me a follow, and slide in those DM’s with your questions, or drop a comment below. These questions will help me determine what I can touch-on and share with you all throughout this series.

As always, thanks so much for following along as I share my journey.